Earth's climate is approaching a tipping point. Rampant worldwide warming has become a hallmark of our time, driven by a sharp increase in the release of carbon and contributing to extreme weather events — sea level rise, heat waves, droughts and floods — that threaten livelihoods and economic stability everywhere. But the world's forests, led by Amazonia, hold the key to reversing much of this trend.
A storm is brewing, but there is still time to act.
Under the Weather
Since the advent of modern temperature data in 1880, 16 of the 17 hottest years on record have occurred after 2000.
The UN expects that the cost of coping with climate change will soar to $130 billion to $400 billion per year by 2030, severely impacting developing and low-lying nations.
Protecting and restoring the world's forests can provide at least 30% of action needed to avoid the worst climate scenarios. And when it comes to forests, there's no bigger factor than Amazonia.
It's Time to Turn Over a New Leaf
If we hope to put the freeze on climate change, it's imperative that we protect our forests. Tropical forests store large amounts of carbon, keeping the greenhouse gas safely out of our atmosphere. Nearly 25% of the world's above-ground carbon is found on forested land managed by indigenous peoples. That's why it's important to work with local communities to strengthen their stewardship of these critical carbon sinks. And the value is clear: In Amazonia alone, every dollar spent on securing indigenous land yields more than 99 dollars in environmental benefits.
© BENJAMIN DRUMMOND
© CRISTINA MITTERMEIER
Reversing the destruction of tropical forests alone would account for at least 30 percent of global action needed to avoid the worst climate scenarios. With your help, we can get there.